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About This Item


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This is the first edition of CSA N292.5, Guideline for the exemption or clearance from regulatory control of materials that contain, or potentially contain, nuclear substances. This Guideline was developed in response to a need for guidance on approaches to clearance of materials consistent with Canadian and international recommendations.

This Guideline provides direction for the application of exemption quantity and clearance level criteria for the release of materials containing, or potentially containing, radioactive nuclear substances, and the activities necessary to demonstrate compliance with these criteria. Specifically, this Guideline addresses clearance of materials that are regulated by the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and regulations made under that Act.

This Guideline is intended to provide direction on the application of the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations (NSRDR) and in complying with individual Licences that have additional provisions for the exemption or removal of materials from the requirement to hold a Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) licence, including
(a) determining if a licence is required to possess a nuclear substance, or materials or equipment containing a nuclear substance (exemption); and
(b) determining if materials can be removed from further regulatory controls (clearance). Where there is a conflict between recommendations in this Guideline and the NSRDR or a CNSC licence, the NSRDR or site/facility licence takes precedence. See Annex A for an interpretation of the NSRDR requirements with respect to the concepts of clearance and exemption and the application of exemption quantities.

This Guideline presents strategies and methodologies that can be used to optimize the efforts and confidence level of the compliance process, including
(a) determining appropriate exemption quantities, conditional clearance levels, or unconditional clearance levels for use in the clearance process;
(b) providing sampling and analysis techniques for assessing the radiological status of materials identified for clearance; and
(c) applying decision techniques for evaluating the results against exemption and clearance values approved by the CNSC to ensure that cleared materials comply with CNSC requirements.

This Guideline covers the exemption or clearance of
(a) moderate and bulk quantities of solids targeted for re-use, recycling, or disposal, including
( i ) materials and equipment;
( ii ) building structures (in-situ) and building materials from demolition activities; and
(iii) lands (in-situ) and excavated soils; and
(b) liquids associated with licensed activities but does not address effluent streams from a licensed facility.

This Guideline addresses only the radiological properties of wastes being considered for clearance. This Guideline covers materials (generally wastes) with hazardous, chemical, or biological components when mixed with radioactive nuclear substances, although materials with mixed contaminants are addressed only with respect to radiological exemption or clearance. This Guideline does not provide direction on how the non-radiological aspects of materials should be approached for disposition.

1.6 This Guideline does not address application of the concept of exclusion, as addressed in the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, and regulations made under that Act, or requirements associated with Canada's Department of National Defence.

This Guideline does not address the following specific types of materials or substances:
(a) naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), other than NORM that is or has been associated with the development, production, or use of nuclear energy, which is addressed by Health Canada in Canadian Guidelines for the Management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) and is regulated by Provincial and Territorial governments;
(b) technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material (TENORM), other than TENORM that is or has been associated with the development, production, or use of nuclear energy, which is addressed by Health Canada in Canadian Guidelines for the Management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM);
(c) radioactive effluents (liquid or gaseous) from nuclear facilities, which are addressed by the CNSC licence for each facility (the requirements for effluent monitoring are provided in CSA N288.5);
(d) radioactive effluent directly resulting from patients who have received medically administered radioactive nuclear substances, because these substances are excluded from regulation; and
(e) the remains of deceased nuclear medicine patients, from medical facilities, because they are excluded from regulation.

This Guideline is intended for use by all facilities and activities licensed by the CNSC unless otherwise noted. This Guideline may also be used by unlicensed facilities to determine if possession of a nuclear substance is exempt from regulatory control.
Although this Guideline is meant for use by CNSC licensed facilities, it can be a useful reference for unlicensed facilities that receive or are involved with the cleared substances lifecycle (e.g., organizations involved in the transfer, import, export, management, storage, disposal, etc. of cleared material).

In CSA publications, "should" is used to express a recommendation or that which is advised but not required and "may" is used to express an option or that which is permissible within the limits of the Guideline.